Can You Put a Fire Pit On Wood Deck? Should You Do It?

A fire pit on a wooden deck may be a question you’re asking if it’s even conceivable. Firepit temperatures are comparable to those of a bonfire, and it should be obvious to anybody that these temperatures and wood decks are not compatible.

If done correctly, a fire pit may be installed on a wood deck. Fire pits on a wood deck are safer if they are located away from flammable objects, have a protective base, and have safety guards. Gas fire pits send off less heat and sparks than wood-burning fire pits, making them a safer option for a wood deck.

Installing a fire pit poorly on a wood deck may be extremely hazardous, even fatal. The laws and regulations for fire pits in certain towns may not allow it. Learn how to securely construct a fire pit on your deck by reading the following article.

Do Wood Decks Allow the Installation of a Fire Pit?

There are a few precautions you should take before installing a fire pit on a wood deck to ensure its safety. It isn’t just a question of placing fire on top of a wooden structure—even if there isn’t direct contact between the fire pit and the deck, the heat and sparks that fly can still generate a deadly fire.

In order to safely construct a fire pit on a wood deck, the following factors must be taken into consideration:

  • When it comes to preventing a fire on your deck, you need to make sure that the fire pit is not in close proximity to any combustible things. Make sure to keep in mind that combustible things don’t need to be directly in contact with a fire pit in order to burn from the heat. That’s why a fire pit ring is also a good idea.
  • The first line of defense: Direct placement of a fire pit or bowl without legs on a wood deck may result in heat damage to the decking and the potential for a fire.
  • Rather, a heat-resistant foundation should be positioned between the fire pit and the deck in order to absorb radiant heat emitted from the pit’s bottom and prevent the wood decking from igniting or burning.
  • Support for a person’s weight: If you decide to add a fire pit to your deck, be sure you know how much weight it can handle and build structural supports to prevent the deck from giving way under the weight of the pit.
  • In the event that you want to have a large gathering around the fire pit, this is very crucial.
  • A fire extinguisher and spark guards are essential safety equipment for any fire pit, so make sure you have them on hand. In the worst-case situation, they can assist keep the deck from catching fire from a stray ember and help put it out more quickly.

To avoid the risk of an uncontrolled fire engulfing the rest of the home, it is important to consider all of these aspects before installing a fire pit on a wood deck. As a result, each of these aspects must be taken into account independently.

Infrared Heat and Fire Pits.

Radiant heat from a fire pit on a wooden deck is a serious risk. Fire pits, especially wood-burning fire pits, can catch combustible things on fire even if they aren’t directly in front of them, even if there is lots of space between them.

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Sparks and embers from a fire pit on a wood deck can also be a problem (although this is more of an issue with wood-burning fire pits than gas fire pits). A wood-burning fire pit’s embers and sparks can spread far from the fire, igniting adjacent things as they decompose and emit a great deal of radiant heat. The danger increases in direct proportion to the size of the fire pit and the intensity of the flames.

When compared to the flames and embers of the fire, radiant heat is a far less obvious threat. Nearby combustible things, such as dry leaves or pine needles, can spontaneously ignite without ever being touched by fire because of the electromagnetic radiation the fire emits.

In the event of a fire pit burning through a wood deck’s substructure, radiant heat is also to blame. The heat radiating from the bottom of the fire pit might burn the wood of the deck if the fire pit is hot enough for an extended period of time without sufficient insulation.

Fire Pits, Wooden Decks, and Codes of Practice.

Research your local fire rules and housing ordinances before installing a fire pit on your hardwood deck. Certain cities and municipalities prohibit the installation of a fire pit on wood decks because of current fire regulations. Extra care is made to avoid wildfires in these locations because they are dry or prone to them.

Other housing codes may require a gas-burning fire pit instead of a wood-burning one on a wood deck. In other cases, fire pits on decks may not be prohibited at all by local fire laws. It all depends on where you reside and the strictness of local fire safety standards.

You should verify with your local housing codes before you buy a fire pit for your wood deck if you are unclear if it is permitted to do so. Even though a fire pit is allowed by local legislation, many homeowners’ associations (HOAs) disallow them on your property if you live in one of these areas.

In addition, it’s a good idea to check for “burn prohibitions” in the region where you live. There are times during the year when controlled flames such as bonfires and pit fires are forbidden owing to the risk of wildfire in dry or fire-prone locations. If you’re discovered using a fire pit during a burn ban, you might face a fine or perhaps a scolding from the fire marshal, depending on the rules in your region.

Clearance Restrictions and Fire Pits

On a wood deck, you need to take into account the space available around the fire pit. The area around the fire pit should be free of any combustible materials that might ignite and spread the flames further.

The following are a few examples of such things:

  • Sun umbrellas and awnings
  • Seat cushions on combustible patio furniture
  • Grilling requires the use of fire starters or other accelerants.

The majority of the time, a fire pit’s instruction manual will specify exactly how much space must be left around and above the fire pit. To ensure that the fire pit is installed appropriately on a wood deck, certain clearance requirements must be rigorously adhered to. There are numerous manufacturers who offer these parameters online, so you may review them before making a final decision.

This is a crucial part of fire safety while using fire pits and decks. A fire pit cannot be installed on a deck that isn’t large enough to provide adequate space around and above the fire pit.

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Weight of Wooden Decks and Fire Pits

The weight of a fire pit on a wood deck is an important factor to keep in mind when making the decision to install one. Depending on the style and the materials used, the weight of a fire pit can range from 38 pounds to 260 pounds.

Unless sufficient structural support is put beneath the fire pit to counteract its weight, lighter fire pits should be positioned on top of decks. It’s possible that the hardwood deck may be completely destroyed by the weight of a heavy fire pit. Even if the deck does not collapse, it is extremely costly and possibly dangerous, especially if a large number of people are on it at the same time.

You should do one of the following to ensure that your wood deck can securely handle the weight of a fire pit:

  • Invest in a fire pit that can be used on a deck yet is still portable.
  • Check with a structural engineer to discover whether your deck can handle the weight of a fire pit.

It’s better to overestimate a deck’s weight capacity than underestimate it because you never know how many people the deck will have to hold in the future. Make certain that even with a huge number of people gathering around the fire pit, the deck is not at risk of collapsing. If you have any doubts about a project’s safety, don’t be hesitant to consult with a professional.

Protection for Fire Pits and the Ground Plan

The bottom of the fire pit transmitting heat straight onto the wood of the deck is a major worry when installing a fire pit on a wood deck. This heat can cause long-term damage and discoloration, but it can even start a fire if the deck isn’t properly insulated.

A non-combustible foundation must be placed between the fire pit and the wood of the deck when installing a fire pit. When establishing a fire pit, this is one of the most crucial things you can do since it acts as a fireproof barrier between the fire pit and the wood of the deck.

A hearth cushion is the finest method to protect the base of your deck fire pit. In order to protect the deck from the heat of the fire pit, these cushions have been installed.

Outdoor Fire Pits and the Safety of Their Location

In addition to the fire pit’s distance from other structures on the deck, you need to think about where it is situated on the wooden deck and how close it is to other structures.

Besides ensuring that people may sit three to five feet away from the fire, you also need to ensure that pergolas and other deck structures are well-spaced from the radiating heat. Damage to decking can occur even if it doesn’t catch fire, as long as it is placed too close to vertical hardwood surfaces.

Installing a fire pit on a section of the deck that isn’t frequently used is also a smart option. Accidents at the fire pit are more frequent when people are moving through and around it to get to other parts of the deck.

Accessory items for the deck’s fire pit

It is possible to enhance the safety of your fire pit on a wooden deck by purchasing additional accessories. Here are a few examples:

  • In the case of a fire pit, spark guards are screens that may be placed on top of the fire pit to keep sparks from flying out and potentially igniting a fire. Additionally, the use of spark guards can aid to keep children and others safe from getting burned by accidentally reaching into the fire pit. A spark guard is a must-have if you’re going to have a wood fire pit.
  • Wind and flame guards are square or rectangular glass walls put around a fire pit to provide safe clearance and to prevent the wind from capturing and distributing flames or embers from the fire pit across the deck.
  • When putting a fire pit on a wood deck, it is advised to have wind and flame protection. However, keep in mind that a glass flame guard will not shield you from the harmful effects of infrared heat.
  • Even if you’re merely barbecuing on your wood deck, you should have a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket nearby in case of an emergency. The need to swiftly extinguish a fire might strike at any time. A deck fire can soon become a home fire if proper fire suppression measures are not taken.
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Wood-burning fire pits provide a greater risk of fire than gas-burning fire pits, according to this study. To avoid accidentally setting your deck on fire, be careful to use fire safety accessories while building a fire pit.

The following are some things to consider before putting up a fire pit:

For those who haven’t yet decided whether or not to put a fire pit on their wood deck, there are numerous things they should consider.

Before you go ahead and do it, think about the following:

  • Is there enough room on your deck for the fire pit to be installed properly?
  • You may want to consider putting the fire pit in a location where there is less chance of someone accidentally getting burned.
  • Do pergolas, awnings, and other deck structures pose any danger to the fire pit location?
  • It’s important to consider whether or not a fire pit and a crowd will be able to be supported on the deck. What is the weight of the fire pit you plan to put in, and can your deck take it???
  • Any combustible things on the deck near where the fire pit would be that may catch fire from radiant heat need to be eliminated.
  • Is it permissible to put a fire pit on a wooden deck according to city or HOA housing regulations?
  • Unless you’re a structural engineer or other type of the contractor, can you handle the installation of a fire pit on your own?
  • When it comes to protecting the deck from the heat of the fire pit, what type of foundation protection is available?

Before you buy a fire pit, you need to answer these questions. If you don’t, you might wind up with a fire pit that is unsafe to use or that is illegal to install in the first place. As a result, you might face mild HOA harassment to a significant danger of a fire in your home, depending on where you reside.

Fire pits on wood decks are wonderful, but they must be installed with care.

Having a fire pit on your deck is a wonderful way to spend time with your family, but it must be done correctly to ensure your safety. To see if Solo stoves are safe to use on a wood deck, check out this page.

A fire pit on a wood deck is a recipe for catastrophe if it isn’t installed correctly. So, if you’re planning on installing a fire pit in your backyard, you need to think about all the probable safety concerns before you get started. If you’ve made the decision to buy a fire pit, here are our best picks for backyard fire pits.

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